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would be improper to say, I have seen him yesterday; or I have finished my work last week. In these cases the imperfect is necessary; as,
I saw him yesterday: I finished my work last week. But when we speak indefinitely of any thing past, as happening, or not happening in the day, year, or age in which we mentioned it, the perfect must be employed; as, I have been there this morning: I have travelled much this year: We have escaped many dangers through life. In referring, however, to such a division of the day as is past before the time of our speaking, we must use the imperfect; as, They came home this morning: He was with them this afternoon. In general, the perfect tense may be applied wherever the action is connected with the present time, by the actual existence either of the author or of the work, though it may have been performed many centuries ago, but. if neither the author nor the work now remains, it cannot be used. We may say, Cicero has written orations; but we cannot say Cicero has written poems; because the orations are in being, but the
The pluperfect tense represents a thing not only as past; but also as prior to some other point of time specified in the sentence; as, I had finished my letter before he arrived.
The First Future tense represents the action as yet to come either with or without respect to the precise time when; as, The sun will rise to-morrow: I shall see them again.
The Second Futuretense intimates that the action will be fully accomplished at or before the time of another future action or event; as I shall have dined at one o'clock: The two houses will have
poems are lost.
finished their business, when the king comes to prorogue
them. The present, past, and future tenses, may be used either definitely or indefinitely, both with respect to time and action. When they denote customs or habits, and not individual acts, they are applied indefinitely; as, Virtue promotes happiness: The old Romans governed by benefits more than by fear: I shall hereafter employ my time more usefully. In these examples, the words promotes, governed, and shall employ, are used indefinitely, both in regard to action and time; for they are not confined to individual actions, nor to any precise points of present, past, or future time.
When they are applied to signify particular actions, and to ascertain the precise points of time to which they are confined, they are used definitely; as in the following instances: My brother is writing; He built the house last summer, but did not inhabit it till yesterday; He will write another letter to-morrow. The conjugation of the verb To Be and To Have.
The conjugation of a verb is the regular combination and arrangement of its several numbers, persons, moods, and tenses. The verb To Be is conjugated as follows:
Plural. 1. I am.
1. We are. 2. Thou art, or you are.
2. Ye or you are. 3. Hey , she, or it is.
3. They are.
Plural. 1. I was.
1. We were. 2. Thou wast, or you were.
2. Ye or you were. 3. He was.
3. They were.
Plural. 1. I have been.
1. We have been. 2. Thou hast been, or you have 2. Ye or you have been. been.
3. They have been. 3. He hath or has been.
Plural. 1. I had been.
1. We had been. 2. Thou hadst been, or you had 2. Ye or you had been. been.
3. They had been. 3. He had been.
First Future Tense.
Plural. 1. I shall or will be.
1. We shall or will be. 2. Thou shalt or will be, or you 2. Ye or you shall or will be. shall or will be.
3. They shall or will be. 3. He shall or will be.
Second Future Tense.
Plural. 1. I shall have been.
1. We shall have been. 2. Thou wilt have been, or you 2. Ye or you shall have been. will have been.
3. They will have been. 3. He will have been.
you, or do
Singular. 2. Be thou or do thou be, or be 2. Be ye or you, or do ye be.
be. Grammarians have generally ascribed to the imperative mood three persons; as, first person, let me be,second person Be thou, &c. ; third person, Let Him Be; with their plurals, Let us Be, Let them Be, &c. But the imperative in such cases belongs merely to the word let; and in every instance the command is addressed to the second person, not to the first or third. For when it is said, Let Me Be, Let Him or Let them be; the meaning and construction are do thou or do ye let me, him, or them be. The imperative expresses a command, exhortation, or entreaty to a second person, and the person addressed constitutes the verb's nominative. It is therefore always of the second person; and as we cannot command in past or future time, it is always of the present tense. The nominative to a verb in this mood, is generally understood; as, Go and tell those children to come in, i. e. go thou, or go ye, and tell them; Come and recite; i. e. Come thou or you, or come ye, and recite.
Plural. 1. I may or can be.
1. We may or can be. 2. Thou mayst or canst be, or 2. Ye or you may or can be. you may or can be.
3. They may or can be. 3. He may or can be.
Plural 1. I might, could, would, or 1. We might, could, would, or should be.
should be. 2. Thou mightst, &c. or you 2. Ye or you might, could, would,
might, could, would, or or should be.
3. They might, could, would, or 8. He might, could, would, or should be. should be
Plural. 1. I may or can have been.
1. We may or can have been. 2. Thou mayst or canst have 2. Ye or you may or can have been, or you may or can
been. have been.
3. They may or can have been. 3. He may or can have been.
Plural. 1. I might, could, would, or 1. We might, could, would, or should have been.
should have been. 2. Thou mightst, &c. or you 2. Ye or you might, could, would,
might, could, would, or or should have been.
3. They might, could, would, or 8. He might, could, would, or should have been.
should have been.
* This form of the verb is often used in the present and future tenses as well as imperfect. See note to this tense in Part I. page 15.
Present Tense.--First Form.
Plural 1. If I am.
1. If we are. 2. If thou art, or if you are. 2. If ye or your are. 3. If he is.
3. If they are. Present Tense.-Second Form. Singular.
Plural. 1. If I be.
1. If we be. 2. If thou be, or if you be. 2. If ye or you be. 3. If he be.
3. If they be. Present Tense. - Third Form. Singular.
Plural. 1. If I were.
1. If we were. 2. If thou wert, or if you were. 2. If ye or you were. 3. If he were.
3. If they were. In the subjunctive imperfect, perfect, pluperfect, first future, and second future, the verb is conjugated just as it is in those tenses of the indicative mood, except that will and wilt are not used in the subjunctive second future, and that a conjunction is added implying doubt or condition.
Having been. To the subjunctive present, we have given three distinct forms. The manner in which these several forms are used, inay be seen in the following illustration: If I am not deceived, he is a worthy man; if it be found otherwise, I shall be greatly disappointed; if I were you, I would not hesitate to employ him. Here, am, be, and were, are all in the present tense. In the first example, the verb retains its indicative form, because, although condition or doubt is expressed, no reference is made to futurity. The idea is not, if I am not to be deceived hereafter, but if I am not now duceived.
The form of the verb, therefore, undergoes no